- Leigh Anne Bearden
- Keevil Helmly
- Tammi D'Elena
- Dr. Heather Dean
- Elizabeth Mallcott
- Rolvin Lentsch
- Sara Chaney
- Carrol Chambers
- Ericka Tucker
- Dr. Silvia Wust
- Christine Koval
- Liane Grasso
- Hiral Patel
- Tara Pirkle
- Dr. Joan E. Rodriguez
- Linda M. Stahelek
- Katrina Farrow
- Esther Askew
- Dr. Thomas Guerrein
- Dr. Katherine Honeycutt
- Mark Bass
- Dr. Laura Pratesi
- Dr. Katie Mawhinney
- Dr. Jennifer Thomas
Leigh Anne Bearden, RN
Leigh Anne Bearden joined our practice in 2005 as our clinical nurse manager and was promoted in 2006 to the position of administrative director. She received her nursing degree from Dekalb College and subsequently received her associate's degree in business from Reinhardt College. Mrs. Bearden has been a registered nurse for 17 years and has experience as a nurse in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Her experience has included medical, surgical and cardiac duties in the hospital. As an outpatient nurse, she has been the nursing director for a large family practice, and, for seven years, the nursing director for a large pediatric office. Mrs. Bearden is responsible for the management of our entire practice, both administrative and clinical. Her vast experience is a great addition to our clinical practice, and we feel fortunate to have her. Her goal is to ensure that our staff is highly trained and in tune with the needs of our patients.
Clinical Nurse Manager
Mrs. Tara Pirkle, a native of Georgia, joined our practice in March of 2007 as our clinical nurse director. Tara comes with seven years of clinical and office manager experience in an Internal Medicine office. She has worked in the medical field for 20 years which has given her a great deal of experience in billing, front office, back office, and management. Her vast experience is a great addition to our practice. Mrs. Pirkle currently resides in Dawsonville, Georgia with her husband and 2 children. She is very active in her community participating in various volunteer opportunities. As clinical manager, Mrs. Pirkle’s goal is to ensure that our staff provides the best possible care for our patients.
Nurse Practitioners & Physician Assistants
Hiral Patel, RPA-C
Hiral Patel joined the Ear, Nose, and Throat Institute in March, 2007. She is a board certified Physician Assistant licensed to practice in the States of New York, Washington DC, Virginia, and Georgia. She earned a Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Miami-FL, and a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant with Honors from Long Island University-NY. Since graduating in 2005, Mrs. Patel has worked in the fields of Internal Medicine, Nuclear Cardiology, and Urgent Care. Mrs. Patel maintains professional affiliations with the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the Society of Physician Assistants in Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and the New York State Society of Physician Assistants. She is also certified in Advanced and Basic Cardiac Life Support (ACLS & BCLS) through the American Heart Association. She recently moved to Georgia with her husband and enjoys swimming, reading, and the outdoors. Mrs. Patel has a passion for medicine and strives to provide the best possible care to her patients.
Keevil Helmly, PA-C
Keevil joined the ENT Institute in August 2009. A native of Atlanta, he graduated from Georgia Tech and eventually entered Emergency Medicine as an EMT. After several years as a Paramedic at Grady Memorial Hospital, he attended Emory University School of Medicine’s Physician Assistant Program. During that time, he had the profound honor to serve as the American Academy of Physician Assistants’ (AAPA) Student Academy President. This included many trips to Washington, DC to lobby Congress on PA issues and sit on the Board of the AAPA for 2 years. Surviving this experience and Emory, Keevil graduated with Honor in 1988 and began his PA career on the Cardiothoracic team at Emory. The arrival of his first child prompted a move to General Medicine at Grady which had hours more conducive to family life. The desire to return to a surgical specialty triggered a move to the ENT clinic at Grady where he additionally served as a Clinical Preceptor for PA students. He met Dr. Gallups there during his Residency years. Eighteen years later, they have resumed the camaraderie of diagnosing and treating ENT disorders for metro Atlanta patients. He is a Fellow in both AAPA and Georgia Academy of Physician Assistants.
Tammi D'Elena, RPA-C
Tammi D'Elena is a certified physician's assistant who has been working in the Ear, Nose, and Throat Institute with Dr. Jeffrey Gallups. Ms. D'Elena received her bachelor of science degree in speech pathology in West Virginia and went on to receive her masters degree in audiology, a branch of medicine dealing with hearing and balance disorders. She graduated magna cum laude. Ms. D'Elena obtained a second masters degree in physician assistant studies at Wayne State University in Michigan. She resides in Dunwoody and is an avid runner and sports' fan. She also enjoys music and travel. Ms. D'Elena is committed to providing the best possible care for her patients.
Esther Askew, PA-C
Esther Askew, PA-C joined the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute in July, 2011. She is a Georgia licensed and NCCPA board certified Physician Assistant. After attending Samford University, Mrs. Askew earned her Bachelor of Physician Assistant degree from the Medical College of Georgia in 2002 and obtained her Master's of Physician Assistant Studies Degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2006. Since graduating with Honors in 2002, Mrs. Askew has gained experience in both Family Medicine and ENT. Mrs. Askew practiced with Dr. N. Hadley Heindel, III and Dr. James G. Burson in a multi-specialty clinic in Newnan, Georgia, prior to joining the staff at ENT Institute. Mrs. Askew brings eight years of ENT experience and primarily works now at the Newnan location with Dr. Heindel. She maintains current certifications for Advanced and Basic Life Support (ACLS and BLS) and is a fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), Georgia Association of Physician Assistants (GAPA), and Society of Physician Assistants in Otolaryngology (SPAO).
Rolvin Lentsch, N.P.-C.
Rolvin joined the ENT Institute in July 2012, and he comes from 2 years in rural Georgia primary care practice. He has a varied backround starting with an eight year stint in the US Army and achieving the rank of Captain; earning his pilot's wings in rotary wing aircraft; and the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, and the Distingushed Flying Cross while flying in Vietnam. After moving to Atlanta, he earned his first Bachelors degree in Business Administration with an Accounting major and began a twenty-four year career with Hewlett-Packard. Mid-career he returned to school and completed a Masters of Science in Human Resources, earning both of these degrees from Georgia State University.
With early retirement one career ends and another begins. After returning to school, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Kennesaw State University, and then went to work for Wellstar at Kennestone Hospital in a surgical step down unit. Receiving encouragement from some of the doctors at Kennestone, he again returned to school this time earning his Masters in Nursing from North Georgia College and State University and certification as a Nurse Practitioner.
Rolvin has four children and is involved in Boy Scouts with his youngest son, and sports with his youngest daughter. His oldest son is married and expecting a daughter in October 2012, and his oldest daughter lives nearby and is becoming an avid fisherwomen. He is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia, and Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society. His spare time also includes the continuing renovation of his family's one hundred and four year old home.
Mark Bass, PA-C
Mark Bass joined the Ear, Nose, and Throat Institute in July of 2012. He attended the University of West Georgia receiving a Bachelors degree in Biology and then Mercer University Physician Assistant Program and graduated with a Masters in Medical Science. He is certified by the American Heart Association in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Basic Life Support and is a member of American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and Georgia Association of Physician Assistants (GAPA). He lives in Suwanee, GA with his wife and will be predominantly working in the Buford and Lawrenceville locations.
Christine Koval, PA-C
Christine Koval is a Georgia licensed and NCCPA board certified Physician Assistant who joined the Ear, Nose, and Throat Institute in May 2013, working primarily at the Peachtree City and Newnan offices. She is a graduate of the Physician Assistant Program at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She spent 2 years of her undergraduate coursework at the University of Georgia and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She considers Roswell, GA her hometown where she attended high school and where her parents still reside. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and Georgia Association of Physician Assistants (GAPA). She enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and pets, listening to music, and traveling.
Elizabeth Mallcott, M.A., CCC-A
Elizabeth Mallcott is a GA licensed audiologist who joined our practice in December 2007. A native of Georgia, she has an undergraduate degree in speech language pathology from the University of West Georgia, where she graduated with honors. She received her Master's degree in audiology from the University of Tennessee in 2001. Prior to joining our practice, Ms. Mallcott was a pediatric audiologist for over 6 years. Her professional interests include evaluation of hearing disorders in pediatrics and adults, hearing aid evaluations, dispensing and counseling. She currently resides in Cumming with her husband, James, and young son.
Linda M. Stahelek, M.A., CCC-A
Linda Stahelek joined our practice in October of 2002. A native of Massachusetts, she has an undergraduate degree in communication disorders from the University of Massachusetts. She received her master’s degree in audiology from Northwestern University in Illinois. Linda is a licensed and certified audiologist and has practiced audiology for 20 years in various medical settings. She has a great interest in adult and pediatric hearing disorders, hearing aid evaluation, dispensing and counseling. Linda is a member of the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association as well as the Greater Atlanta Audiological Society. She currently resides in Alpharetta with her husband Tom and two sons.
Laura Pratesi, Au.D., CCC-A, F-AAA
Dr. Pratesi is a Georgia native and licensed audiologist who joined the ENT Institute in 2012. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Auburn University with an undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders in 2008. After that, she went on to graduate with honors in her Doctor of Audiology program from Auburn in 2012. Dr. Pratesi is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and has her clinical certificate of competence from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). Dr. Pratesi's interests include evaluation of pediatric hearing disorders, amplification and rehabilitation of adult hearing disorders. Dr. Pratesi volunteers once a month at Wesley Woods retirement community. She also works with the Coweta County School System, meeting the audiological needs of students with hearing loss. Dr. Pratesi currently resides in Newnan, GA with her husband.
Joan E. Rodriguez, Au.D., CCC-A
Dr. Joan Englehart Rodriguez joined ENT Institute in August 2007 with 28 years experience in clinical audiology. A native of Pennsylvania, she earned her Bachelor of Art degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences from the University of Maryland in 1978 and her Master of Science degree in Audiology from Penn State University in 1979. In 2003 she received her Doctor of Audiology degree (Au.D.) from the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Dr. Rodriguez is licensed by the state of Georgia and is certified by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). She was appointed by the governor of Georgia to serve on the Georgia State Board of Hearing Aid Dealers and Dispensers from 1991 through 1997. She has practiced audiology in various medical settings, including hospitals, public health, and a large multi-specialty organization in Atlanta. Her greatest interests include adult and pediatric hearing disorders, and adult balance disorders. She has two children, both currently attending college. She resides in Duluth, GA.
Heather Dean, Au.D., CCC-A
Dr. Heather Dean joined ENT Institute in July 2011. A native of Alabama, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Alabama in 2007 and Doctorate of Audiology from the University of South Alabama in 2011. Dr. Dean is licensed in the state of Georgia and is certified by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). Her greatest interests include adult and pediatric hearing disorders, and balance disorders. She resides in Peachtree City, GA.
Katrina Farrow, M.S., FAAA
Katrina Farrow has been a Georgia licensed audiologist since 1993. A native of Northwest Florida, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Florida, followed by a Master of Science degree in Audiology from the University of South Florida.
Ms. Farrow is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and a member of the Georgia Academy of Audiology. She enjoys all aspects of her profession, but has special interests in hearing aid dispensing and testing for balance disorders. She currently resides in Lithonia, Georgia.
Thomas Guerrein Au.D CCC-A/FAAA
Dr. Thomas Guerrein is a Georgia licensed audiologist who joined ENT Institute in February 2012. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders from Auburn University in 2007 and Doctorate of Audiology from the University of South Alabama in 2011.
Dr. Guerrein is certified by the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. His greatest interests include evaluation of hearing disorders in adult and pediatric populations, adult balance testing, and hearing aid dispensing. He currently resides in Vinings, GA.
Katherine Honeycutt, AuD, CCC-A, F-AAA
Dr. Honeycutt joined our practice in May 2012. She graduated with her Doctorate of Audiology from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2005. She has been a devoted pediatric audiologist for eight years and is excited to be a member of the team at the ENT Institute and provide hearing care for all ages.
Dr. Honeycutt is an activist for the hearing impaired. She has a passion for early hearing loss identification, intervention, and language acquisition. She has led a team of experts on medical mission trips to Mexico and participates annually as an audiologist in local community outreach programs, including GA Special Olympics and Give a Kid a Chance. She is dedicated to afford individuals healthy ears and the ability to communicate at their highest potential.
Carol Chambers, M.A. CCC-A, FAAAs
Carol Chambers joined ENT Institute in Sept. 2012 and has over 30 years experience in clinical audiology and hearing aid dispensing. A native of Long Island, N.Y. she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders from the State University of New York in Buffalo (UB) and her Master's Degree from the State University of California, Los Angeles in 1981. Ms. Chambers is certified by the American Speech, Language, Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). Her interests are evaluating adult and pediatric hearing disorders and particularly hearing aid dispensing. She is grateful in hearing many of her patients enjoying their new hearing aids and ultimately expressing how they cannot live without them. Outside the office, her interests are walking/exercising, gardening and to travel far and wide. She currently resides in Woodstock, GA.
Ericka Tucker, CCC-A/FAAA
Ericka Tucker is a Georgia licensed audiologist providing hearing evaluations and audiological services for almost 20 years. She received her undergraduate degree in Communications Sciences from Ithaca College in upstate New York and her Masters of Science in Audiology in 1994 from City University of New York, Hunter College. Ericka is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and a member of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association. Her professional interests include the evaluation of hearing disorders in both pediatric and adult populations. Ericka is a native New Yorker, however she recently moved to Georgia after living in Southern California for 5 years. She currently resides in East Cobb with her husband and two children.
Katie Mawhinney, Au.D., CCC-A
Dr. Katie Mawhinney joined our practice in 2013. She is licensed through the State of Georgia, and holds certification through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is originally from Coastal Georgia, where she lived until her family moved to Ellijay, GA. In 2004, she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Education in Speech-Language Pathology at the State University of West Georgia. After finishing at UWG, she and her husband moved to New Orleans where she attended graduate school at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center where she was awarded a Clinical Doctorate in Audiology in 2008. Her interests include audiologic assessments on patients of all ages and hearing aid fittings. Dr. Mawhinney currently lives in North Gwinnett with her husband and young son.
Silvia Wust, Au.D., CCC-A
Silvia Wust joined ENT institute in October of 2012 with the goal to improve quality of life of individuals with hearing loss through counseling and personalized hearing devices. A native of New Jersey, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Montclair State University in 1998. She went on to upstate New York where she earned her Masters Degree in Audiology from Ithaca College in 2000. She moved to the rainy Northwest shortly after graduating, where she resided with her family for 8 years and earned her Doctorate in Audiology from Salus University in 2008. Dr. Wust moved to Sandy Springs in 2011 and is licensed in the state of Georgia to practice audiology and dispense hearing aids. She is a member of the Georgia Academy of Audiology and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology from the American Speech and Hearing Association. She specializes in balance testing and hearing aid services, and is fluent in Spanish. She currently resides in Cumming with her family.
Jennifer Thomas, Au.D., CCC-A
Dr. Jennifer Thomas joined ENT Institute in May 2013. A native of Alabama, Dr. Thomas graduated Summa Cum Laude from Auburn Montgomery with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders in 2009. After that, she went on to receive her Doctorate of Audiology from Auburn University in 2013. Dr. Thomas is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and a member of the Georgia Academy of Audiology. In June, she received her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). Her interests include the evaluation of vestibular disorders, evaluation of adult hearing disorders and the amplification and rehabilitation of adult hearing disorders. Dr. Thomas will be working in our Peachtree City and White Oak offices.
Sara Chaney, M.A. CCC-SLP
Sara Chaney is a very passionate speech/language pathologist at the ENT Institute in Georgia. Her goals are to increase education and awareness for speech pathology-related disorders and improve the lives of those affected by these disorders through providing high quality diagnostics and treatment services. She upholds the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Clinical Certificate of Competency in addition to a speech pathology license in the state of Georgia. She also is a competent endoscopist, certified VitalStim provider, certified Voice Therapy Spectrum Clinical Provider, and trained Tracheoesophageal Prosthesis placement provider. She has several years of experience in the acute, rehab, and endoscopic/diagnostic settings, and provides evaluations/diagnostics and therapy for the following:
- Voice disorders (including endoscopy, videostroboscopy, and vocal function measurements)
- Swallowing disorders (including Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing—FEES and VitalStim therapy)
- Head/neck cancer-related disorders
- TEP placements/changes
- Speech/Language/Communication disorders
- Cognitive Impairments
- Degenerative diseases/Neurological disorders
Sara earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology/Audiology from Miami University (Ohio), and her Master of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Cincinnati. She has a strong passion for this profession because it gives her the opportunity to be of great help to those who have lost (or may be losing) abilities we may daily take for granted (speech/communication, swallowing, and breathing). She resides in Atlanta, GA and is also very active with health and fitness in the community.
Liane Grasso M.M., M.S., CF-SLP
Liane Grasso joined the ENT Institute in October 2013 after completing an intership at the Massachusetts General Hospital Voice Center where she trained under some of the nation's leading voice specialists and worked with a wide-range of patients, from cancer patients to world-class professional singers. She has also previously worked with a mobile dysphagia consulting company, traveling throughout New England providing evaluations and consultations to rehabiliation centers, skilled nursing facilities, and home bound patients.
Liane holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music in Voice Performance from Florida State University, and a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the MGH Institute of Health Professions. While at MGH, she completed a concentration in Voice Disorders with a focus on care for the singing voice. She holds a speech pathology license in the state of Georgia, and is currently completing national certification with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is a certified provider of the Lee Silverman Voice Technique. She provides treatment for the following:
- Voice disorders (including endoscopy, videostroboscopy, and vocal function measurements)
- Swallowing disorders (including Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing—FEES)
- Head/neck cancer-related disorders
- Speech disorders (dysarthria, apraxia, disfluency) resulting from stroke, injury, or neurological disorders
- Cognitive Impairments
- Specialized care for singers and actors of all ages and abilities, ameteur to professional, and for other professional voice users (teachers, lawyers, public speakers, etc.)
Liane currently resides in Cumming, GA and provides services in the Cumming, Johns Creek, and Gainesville locations. In her free time, she enjoying hiking, cycling, kayaking, and of course, singing.
"Dr. Joseph, thank you for being so attentive to our little girl. She told all her friends that a Princess took out her tonsils, (she says you look like Princess Jasmine). From day one- We felt safe with you as her surgeon. As a parent, it was such a relief to know she was being cared for and felt a sense of security in your care."
- Georgette, Newnan, GA
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